Welcoming Wheelchair-Accessible Destinations
There is so very much in the world to see and experience, and the desire to do so does not vanish simply because a traveler is wheelchair bound.
Like many other struggles involving human rights, the push for equal rights for the differently abled has taken decades, ultimately leading to such landmark laws as the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) and the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 in the US, and the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which now has 162 signatories. However, regulations among the countries of the world vary widely, and there’s still a long way to go to ensure that tourist destinations, products, and services – both public and private – are accessible to all. As with any trip, all it takes is some advance planning that will allow you to better enjoy your travels.
So, what are some of the best wheelchair-friendly places to visit?
Walt Disney World® Resort, Orlando
Disney World goes all out to make dreams come true for visitors who use wheelchairs. All Disney Resort hotels include an accessible path of travel from arrival to the lobby area, as well as to accessible guest rooms, restaurants, shops, meeting rooms, business centers, pools, exercise facilities, and laundry facilities. Most of the attractions within Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot® Resort Area, Disney's Hollywood Studios™, Disney's Animal Kingdom®, and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park are accessible; some attractions require guests to transfer from their wheelchair, by themselves or with assistance from their party, to a ride vehicle. In addition, most of the transportation systems at the Walt Disney World Resort are accessible to differently-abled guests.
Many of the historic attractions of London – including The Tower, Windsor Castle, Warwick Castle, and Kensington Palace – are indeed as ancient as you can imagine, but feature full or partial wheelchair access, though not necessarily for all features. The very modern London Eye has full access plus discounts, as does the very old Tower of London. Outside of London, Stonehenge offers access right at the stone circle of the monument itself (depending on weather conditions), as well as parking, Visitor Center facilities, and a shuttle bus to the monument.
There are a ton of monuments, museums, cultural institutions, and other attractions in the Nation’s Capital, and access for wheelchair users is widespread, with partial exceptions for some sites hampered by geography (Arlington National Cemetery) or pre-modern-era architectural configurations. In addition, admission to the national museums is free to all. One of the most accessible and inspirational sites of all is the FDR Memorial, dedicated in 1997 – which depicts President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wheelchair. Wheelchair users can easily see the White House, Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court of the United States, as well as the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.
For details on these and many other destinations, your Liberty Travel consultant offers end-to-end travel planning for every kind of trip, no matter where you're going or what you're doing. Contact us today to start planning your next trip.